Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Dunne Speaks: 13 August 2014

Dunne Speaks: 13 August 2014

http://honpfd.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/13-august-2014-this-is-shapingup-as.html

This is shaping up as a very unusual election indeed.

Elections are usually the opportunity to debate the future direction of the country and where alternative governments might lead it. This election, at least based on the evidence of the phony-campaign to date, seems to be an almost policy-free zone. What policies have been announced have been either a reiteration of what has been released already, or so bold and grandiose to defy the reality of being implementable, leaving the suspicion that their real purpose has been as a rallying call to shore up the wavering party faithful.

The lure of the dog-whistle seems to have been more important – the use of selective comment to persuade voters that a particular party is on their side. That is why New Zealand First is playing the race card so blatantly. In the just ended Parliament one or two of its MPs frequently looked and sounded like misplaced members of the Ku Klux Klan, and now that appeal to the extreme red-neck portion of the electorate has been legitimised through the racist overtones of the party’s campaign launch last weekend. And the Conservatives, long suspected to be really “hang ‘em and birch ‘em” proponents on law and order have reinforced that sentiment by the recruitment of Sensible Sentencing’s leader as a candidate.

In their own ways, the two main parties are also blowing the dog-whistle. National’s emphasis on protecting the fledgling Budget surplus is as much about sending signals of its reliability and credibility as an economic manager, as it is about enhancing the reputation of the Minister of Finance. Labour’s apparent willingness to appear looser with the purse strings serves the dual purpose of sending the signal it is more warm and caring, but not as fiscally irresponsible as the Greens, who, if they do well enough, will be tapping on Labour’s shoulder for the role of lead party of the left.

While this is all good fun, especially for the salivating commentariat who love to analyse and re-analyse such signs to the point of extinction, it is not doing much to inform voters of what the parties really stand for, or what new ideas they might be ready to spring upon an unsuspecting electorate a little way down the track.

In previous elections the party manifesto has fulfilled this role. In 1987, there was shock and horror when Labour did not release its manifesto to the public until a week after it had been safely re-elected. Nowadays, the same shock and horror seems reserved for the suggestion that a party might actually have a detailed manifesto at all!

For its part, UnitedFuture has never been too worried about the political norm. A few years ago, we campaigned on the central role of families, at a time when all our advice was that to do so would be divisive, because families came in so many shapes and forms. Now, every party prides itself on being family friendly. In 2004, we argued that the foreshore and seabed was public domain that should be vested in all New Zealanders. No, that could never be, the other parties said – yet that was precisely the solution the present government adopted in 2010, to general public approval.

Well, we are about to break the mould again. Early next week we will release a detailed on-line manifesto which every voter will have access to, as they consider their voting options. Maybe, that will be another case of being first to set a new trend!

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news